My Inner Mystic

reflections and insight into my healing, transformation, and journey of the heart <3

Category Archives: spirituality

My Heavenly Father

As this Saturn’s day draws to a close, I’d like to tell you about my father, whose name was Robert Eugene, and for whom I was named. While my father, my dad, no longer lives on Earth, he lives on in the Heavens.

My dad passed on, returned to Source, nearly 6 years ago on March 11, 2010. He died as a relatively young man at the age of 65.

I did not have a close relationship with my dad. Instead, it was one of hardship and strife. My dad was a very angry and volatile man. He hurt me, my mom, and my siblings much and often with his hands and his words. I could share many, awful stories of the horrific things my dad did. It’s enough for me to tell you that my dad was a rotten man.

I have a very different relationship with my dad now that he’s gone. I even consider my dad a spirit ally and summon him when I need protection or support. I am still cultivating my relationship with my dad, my Heavenly Father and maybe someday he’ll be an ally that serves me in other ways too. For now, I am grateful for his protection and the guidance he provides to me as I awaken my relationship to Spirit, to the Divine Intelligence that is in all things, the Intelligence with which we can participate as we co-create and manifest our reality.

My relationship with my Heavenly Father began on Sunday, January 5, 2014 on my hike down into Haleakala, the big crater of Maui. My dad loved geology, loved rocks. He studied earth sciences in college and had several prized rock collections. As I trekked down into the crater in the first hours of the day I found myself thinking of my dad and wishing he could see and experience what I was seeing. I felt sad that because my dad worked so hard to support my family, declined, and died an early death that he did not get to see and experience the places that I have been so privileged to see.

Haleakala

Up there in the crater, I felt so close to the Heavens. I called out to my dad and asked him to join me and experience through me and with me the beauty and wonder of Haleakala. For those miles I trekked down into the crater I had a “conversation with my father.” Other than expressing my sadness that he didn’t get to see what I was now seeing and expressing my gratitude for the sacrifices he made, I don’t really remember the content of our conversation. The content really isn’t that important. What’s most important is that I invited my dad, now my Heavenly Father, into my life and he’s been with me ever since.

I mentioned that my dad has been providing me with guidance as I awaken to the Divine Intelligence that is in all things and this notion that we co-create and manifest our reality. For me, life is a bit like living in “The Da Vinci Code.”   I receive messages and attempt to unravel the mysteries. Many messages take a bit of decoding – that’s especially true to when I began to more fully awaken to the Divine Intelligence.

In the spring of 2014, during my participation in a shamanic women’s circle, we were doing work with feathers and I found myself wanting feathers of my own. I said out loud something to the effect of, “I’m ready for feathers.” Within days, a Northern Flicker starting gifting me feathers, 3 the first day. In all, I was gifted 11 flicker feathers. I tried to make meaning of it and unravel the mystery. I arrived here: my brother’s death date is 3/11.

3 flicker feathers

Not long after I was gifted the 11 flicker feathers, I was gifted 10 goose feathers. What did this mean? 21 feathers. 11, a number of mirroring. The mirror of 21 is 12. 12/21. My dad’s birth date. I unraveled this mystery with a friend. As I uttered out loud the connection to my dad’s birth date and that I believed my dad was communicating with me, we both felt goose bumps and a shiver around us. Kinda spooky, but I think that was my dad’s spirit we felt around us. (writer’s aside: magic moment, synchronicity…I hear honking geese as I write this).

December 21, Winter Solstice, my dad’s birthday. Last year I shared in “Light Born OF and TO dark” my revelation that the Winter Solstice is my conception date. I was conceived in the darkest days of winter, when the sun stands still in a pregnant pause, and was born into the bright shining light of the September sun when the sun was high in the sky. Whoa. Revolutionary! A powerful story of my inception as a being of light.

To celebrate the Winter Solstice, to celebrate my dad’s birth date, and most importantly to honor the light within and welcome back the light without, I offered a “second annual” Winter Solstice ceremony. Eleven (11) of us sat in all candle light and shared stories about our relationship to this date and quotes about Light. I led us through a guided meditation and facilitated a partner meditation, where I invited those present to mirror back each other’s Light. The ceremony was rich, meaningful, and spiritual.

sacred objects

To this ceremony I brought 3 sacred objects: my ❤ rock from Haleakala, a matching pair of duck feathers from the Klamath River, and my owl friend from Peru. After the ceremony ended, I packed up rather hurriedly but made sure my sacred objects were safe. When I got home and unpacked, my feathers were nowhere to be found. I checked every pocket again and again. No feathers. I started to feel sadness fill my being. I had collected those feathers from my stomping grounds and also my dad’s stomping grounds on a recent trip “home” while out kayaking with the pastor from my home church and sharing with him about my “relationship” with my deceased father. I knew there was a risk taking the feathers. The feathers and the ❤ rock both had a direct connection to my dad and I chosen to take them to the ceremony.

Sadness continued to fill my being. I had to go back out and see if I could find them. Somehow I knew what the outcome would before I started to retrace my steps: I found just one feather on the ground, a small miracle on this windy day. I found the one feather on the sidewalk outside the coffee shop, Revolutions. Though filled with both grief and gratitude in the moment, I took note of the spot where I had lost and then found my feather. Revolutions. Curious. What was my dad telling me now? I have my guesses.

Losing one of these two feathers revealed to me that unprocessed grief still lives within me. These feathers were not given to me by my dad in his life time. I had collected them. I had attached meaning to them; for me the matching feathers were like the number 11. I had become attached to them and what they represented. The depth of my grief over the loss of one of the feathers speaks less about my attachment to an object and more so to my relationship to my father – the relationship that it was not while he lived and what it is now that he lives on in the Heavens. And this relationship is twofold: my Heavenly Father is now my spirit ally AND on a deep, psychological level, I am invoking my inner father and healing that part of myself.

my earthly father - 2002

With my dad, circa 2002, on my graduation day.  My dad was pretty proud of the fact that I’d just earned a master’s degree in English.  My dad had glimmers of Light and did and does LOVE me!

Light Contemplation

candle light

I continue to contemplate light and my inner light.  I hold the image of light in my awareness throughout each day.

I began contemplating light after darkness crept into my inner landscape.  In the darkness I felt an “I give up feeling” and the scary thought “what’s the point?” began to form in my mind.  Fortunately I found a spark of hope and was able to rekindle the light within.  The images of gathering wood for an inner fire came to me as darkness permeated my inner landscape; I was able to rekindle my flame of hope as I gathered this wood, kindling, from my depths.  From that spark of insight, the idea of rekindling the flame within, contemplation of my inner light emerged.  The notion of my inner fire became the inspiration for my last blog post, “Discovering Light in the Dark.”

As part of my contemplation on light, I began a new ritual:  I light a candle every night.  For a minute or so after I light each candle I study the flame, I become curious.  I look into the flame and marvel at its color – the gold, the blue, the purple “hallow” at the tip of the thread.  I notice the shape of the flame – its soft edges, its height, its crest.  I watch the steady flame or if there is movement in the air that disturbs the flame, I watch the flame flicker and dance, swaying side to side, bouncing in all directions.

I stay with the dancing flame until it becomes steady and still again.  I note to myself that the light always seeks to steady itself, to come back to the center, to find a place of tranquility.  I contemplate how this tranquil light is a great metaphor.  The light models a state of being I can cultivate in my life:  tranquility, inner stillness, free from agitation of mind or spirit.

I put my hands over the flame and feel its warmth and its heat.  With my inner sense, my heart sense, I feel gratitude for this radiating light, for this glowing and shining light.  I feel gratitude that because of this light I can see in the dark, both literally and figuratively.  I feel gratitude for all that this light is teaching me.  I feel grateful that the light is shining on my path of discovery.

Sometimes my practice and ritual of lighting a candle is a symbolic gesture.  I place an intention on the light, an intention I want to manifest in my life, such as tranquility.  The light represents that intention, it radiates the intention, it sends out the light of that intention.

Sometimes lighting the candle is a hopeful gesture.  The light becomes the flame of a hope, wish, or desire I have in my life.  The intent behind this action is to keep the fire burning around this hope, wish, or desire instead of letting the fire die out.

Other times my practice of lighting the candle serves as a reminder of my inner light.  I hold the light in my hands with reverence, holding this light as if it is a delicate flower or a newborn baby.  This light, my light, is precious and sacred.  In these reverent moments I recite Pantajali’s Yoga Sutra I.36 “visoka va jyotishmati,” which translates into English as “the light within is free from all sorrow and suffering.”

I leave you with this ray of light:

“Be a light unto yourself . . . Hold fast to the Truth.”

The Buddha’s final words

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I want to say a special thank you to my friend Katy who is a source of inspiration in my life.  Katy is steady like the light, unwavering in her friendship to me.  In times of my sorrow or grief or when my hope is fading, Katy lights a candle for me and sends light and healing and hopeful vibrations out into the Universe.  Love and light to you!! <3

Discovering Light in the Dark

Today we stopped saving daylight.  We have set our clocks back.  We have officially entered the dark season.  We have surrendered, but have we embraced the dark?

The day we stop saving light and turn back our clocks is my least favorite day of the entire year.  My body and heart rebel against it.  I surrender because I have to, because the calendar, and well, the tilt and rotation of the earth compels me, requires me, to do so.  I am a lover of sun, of sunlight.  The sun wakes me up on the inside, it fills me with energy, it lifts my spirit.  When the sun comes out, my heart brightens, I brighten.  Each emergence of the sun is a hallelujah moment for me.  The bigger the emergence, like after days and days of cloudy, stormy weather, the bigger my hallelujah moment.

We are now in the dark season.  We have been creeping into this dark season for a while.  The sun has been leaving us earlier and earlier every day and for those of us in the Pacific Northwest (and no doubt many other places), this time of year is even darker because the thick grey clouds of fall roll in and obscure our sun and our light.

The lack of sunlight in our lives is an external experience with a very real internal impact.  When the earth rotates and tilts away from the sun, as we are now experiencing in the northern hemisphere, the light and warmth of the sun moves away from our external landscape.  When the sun moves farther away from us, our internal landscape is also depleted of this energizing light.  With the absence of the sun in our daily lives, many of us feel less light, less of that bright shining feeling, and more darkness on the inside.

During the shift from summer into fall, I began to feel darkness creep into my internal landscape.  My heart and my body felt heavier.  I felt a rise of sadness and hopelessness.  I felt frustrated with the trajectory of my life and the lack of development and movement forward in a place where I am so ready for new growth to emerge.  I wrestled with an “I give up” feeling.  A scary thought began to form in my mind along the lines of, “what’s the point?,” as in, “what is the point to living?”  Fortunately my awareness of my mental processes and emotional experiences is quite keen and I was able to put the brakes on the formation of this thought.

The rising thought, “what’s the point?,” was a “whoa” moment, a wake up moment.  I was quite aware that this thought can lead to some very scary places and I have no interest in visiting these frightening places.  I made an intentional choice to pause and redirect my thoughts and feelings.  I was motivated to do this first, because I recognized the scary nature of my thought and second, because I do not want to allow my brain and my emotions to wire themselves into chronic depressive thought patterns.  It took a bit of effort to redirect.  I had to search within myself for a spark to keep the hope alive, to not give up, but instead continue to believe that what I am wanting most in my life will unfold and grow.

Reflecting back on my inner search for a spark of hope, the image of light, of fire, grew inside of me.  The search I did within my inner landscape was much like looking for and gathering wood from the forest floor to make a campfire.  When faced with the “I give up” feeling, I needed renewed hope to keep my fire burning.  I found it by digging around within myself, turning over some leaves and discovering a piece of nice, dry wood.  I threw it on the waning fire and a big flame shot up.  Whew.  Crisis averted.  I kept the wolves, those scary thoughts and depressing feelings, at bay.   This time I was able to find fuel fairly quickly and “save” my fire.  Keeping one’s light bright and one’s fire burning is not always this easy.  This time I found my way out of the dark rather quickly.  This time…

fire

My metaphorical search for fuel to keep my inner fire burning and radiating led me to contemplate light.  I pondered:  What is the fuel that keeps our light shining, our fire burning?  My fuel is drawn from hope, faith, optimism, devotion, insight, and my belief in love.  I re(source) my fuel, which is vital to sustaining my light, from nature, learning and discovery, my yoga practice and spiritual journey, inspiration, new experiences and adventures, connection with others, and giving of myself in ways that uplift and support those around me.  And I recognize that my strongest and deepest fuel source is an innate desire and will to not only survive, but to thrive.

I imagine each person fuels and (re)sources their light via different pathways.  However, I am going to guess that elements of our inner fuel and (re)sources are universal.   I suspect folks universally draw fuel from hope, love, faith, and devotion.  I also suspect most folks re(source) from nature, love, and spirituality, each of which are so vital to sustaining one’s inner light.  And not just unique to me, but to all of us, is an instinct to survive.  I believe this instinct, which resides within each of us, will always help us to discover the light in the dark.

After my initial “escape,” I decided to stay with the darkness for a while.  Adopting a mindset that Pema Chödrön speaks of so often, I became curious about the darkness that was permeating my inner landscape.  Instead of running away from the dark by trying to find light as quickly as possible, what would happen if I stayed and embraced the darkness?  Staying led me to contemplate my inner light.  Staying allowed me to become more intimate with how I fuel and (re)source my inner light.  I came away with this insight:  when we stay with the darkness and remain open to our experience, we will discover the light.

I was and remain inspired to stay present with the darkness by this quote, which came through a friend of a friend.  “When it gets really dark, you can see the stars.”

A Little Hummingbird Message

The hummingbirds continue to whisper to me, almost on a daily basis.  If I stay attuned, I will see numerous hummingbirds in one day and hear others that remain hidden in the trees and unseen.  My most abundant day:  I saw five hummingbirds and heard a sixth.  Yesterday I might have actually seen and heard more than that, but I stopped counting in my practice of staying present in the moment and just listened again and again as I heard these birds sing.  A few times I paused and searched the trees until I spotted the little bird.  In these moments, I was gifted with joy as I watched these birds dance and sing.

This week I received a very significant message, one I feel compelled to share in this special “hummingbird edition” blog post.  I was “communing” with my first and most reliable hummingbird friend.  As I do on most days when I “commune” with my little bird friend, I stopped to see if he or she would sing for me.  My little friend sang, but I had a really hard time hearing his or her voice.  To my left a crow was cawing, “caw, caw, caw” and overpowering the voice of this much smaller and more delicate bird.  To my right the rumblings of the cars crossing over the steel grate of the Fremont Bridge were drowning out the hummingbird’s voice.  Between the crow and the traffic, I could barely hear the hummingbird sing.  I had to listen intently to hear the hummingbird’s voice over all the sounds of city life and the Seattle bird kingdom.  In that moment I knew the message:  LISTEN.

I saw the irony in this moment of listening and knew the message, LISTEN, is a metaphor for my own life.  The cawing of the crow and the rumblings of traffic is akin to my own mental and emotional chatter that is overpowering and drowning out MY voice.  In my new life, I have been on a journey to discover my own voice and these last few weeks, with the guidance of my hummingbird friends, I have really been trying to listen to my voice, my inner wisdom and intuition.  It’s hard to access this current of wisdom and intuition that resides deep within and as my last post, “Wings of Infinity,” illustrates, I am getting mixed messages.  My emotions are tugging pretty hard at me and coloring everything; these emotions are making it really hard to see and hear clearly.

I think about the bird’s positioning in relation to the crow and the cars.  The hummingbird was right in the center, the same place my own voice and intuition resides:  in MY center.  So as I did in this moment, I simply need to be still, to quiet the chatter, and tune into my own voice and hear the words of MY song vibrating in my heart.

I discovered Lady Guru at Mandala, a lovely shop in Playa Guiones, Costa Rica.

“Listen” is the card I pulled from my affirmation deck earlier this week.  The Universe is clearly giving me a message.

Wings of Infinity

I hear them almost every time I step outside, nearly every time I go for a walk, even when I am on my bike.  I see them almost every day, sometimes I see more than one a day.  I am learning their spots, their favorite trees, their favorite branches.  I can spot them without hearing them first.  I have gotten close enough to look one in the eye.  I have told my friends I am becoming a hummingbird whisperer.

The prevalence of hummingbirds in my life and the fact that I have become so attuned to their presence is not just a coincidence, is not just a random occurrence.  It means something.  I have started to ask myself:  “What are they trying to tell me?  What message are they trying to deliver to me?”

I think about the times hummingbirds have appeared in my life and what their appearance might have meant on each of these days.  Perhaps the messages were different each time, but lately their frequent appearances makes me wonder if there is an overarching message and if their continuous presence is to remind me to keep searching for the answer, to keep seeking out the truth.

My first memory of seeing a hummingbird was some time after I moved to Seattle in my late twenties.  I was looking out my bedroom window and I saw a flash of color and spotted one feasting on the orange globe-like “flowers” of the bushy tree next door.  At the time, I lived near the Ballard Locks, and while out on a walk I saw a few hummingbirds darting along the slope below Sunset Hill Park.  A few years passed, I was in my early thirties now, and during a summer hike along the Tonga Ridge trail in the Cascades I witnessed a hummingbird extravaganza.  Hummingbirds at a high elevation?!  Such an unbelievable sight to behold.  The small, energetic birds flitted and hovered and circled in the tens and twenties around a vibrant fir tree.  In the chapters of my “old” life when my relationship was growing and deepening, long before the “ka-boom,” I learned the call and song of a hummingbird.  As I approached home, a hummingbird zipped past me and landed in a tree.  I paused and that day I heard the sound of the hummingbird’s voice, a voice that has stayed with me.

Looking back, remembering my early history with the hummingbird is part of my story, but their presence in my “new” life is most telling and revealing.  I saw a pair of hummingbirds dart overhead on the morning of my 35th birthday, just as I was about to depart for my first solo camping adventure.  I was practically hit in the forehead by a hummingbird the last day I spent time with that special someone.  I have shared my affinity for hummingbirds with him.  He also has a special kinship with this bird.  When he was a young boy a hummingbird came into his hand.  So special, so magical, an affirmation of his sweetness.  Last fall, I looked into the eye of a hummingbird while it perched on a branch of the tree in my front yard.

I believe the appearance and messages from these hummingbirds on these occasions meant different things.  Perhaps some days they were not delivering a message, but simply celebrating in my joy; perhaps the joy in my heart attracted these joyful birds.  Perhaps their appearance was meant to remind me to stay present.  I would like to think that the day I almost came forehead to pointy beak with a hummingbird that it was an omen of a budding and joyful relationship to come with that special someone, but unless this joy is delayed and the relationship exists at some point in the future, I am not so sure that was the message.  The message might have simply been:  “savor this moment; savor your time with him.”

Seeing a pair of hummingbirds zip by in harmony and unity is a very special gift, one of many gifts I received on my 35th birthday.  Often times when I see bird couples, it fills me with a sense of hope for my future.  Other times I feel sadness witnessing this loving partnership, something absent in my life today.  I would like to think that seeing two hummingbirds dart across the sky in partnership and celebration is an omen of a harmonious and loving partnership in my future, but I do not know for sure.  The message might be as simple as: “this is love occurring in nature as it should; we are meant to love and be loved.”

October 1, 2011, an auspicious date, is the day I looked a hummingbird in the eye. The previous day was very painful.  I received a “message” that the door had been closed on my fractured friendship with my friend of 15 years.  Hummingbirds are symbols of joy and celebration, but they can also deliver messages of healing.  A hummingbird’s vibrations inspire health and balance to be restored.  Was the hummingbird delivering a healing message on this day or was the hummingbird reminding me to see the beauty in this moment and also reminding me that despite my friend’s intentional and hurtful actions, that I am an incredibly beautiful person?  Yes, I lost a very good friend, my closest friend of many years, the most recent and one of many painful losses in my life, but my “friend” loses too.  She loses the opportunity to witness and participate in my growth, my transformation.  Despite the hurt she brought into my life, I will continue to grow and blossom and radiate beauty, I will continue to journey on this incredible journey of the heart.  I felt this in my heart as I held the hummingbird’s eye.

I am still trying to understand the grand message that the hummingbirds are delivering to me in 2012.  I think about my sadness, my longing for the one who touched my heart, this feeling of being stuck.  Is the sadness supposed to serve to motivate me to get past this, to seek out and manifest what my heart desires?  What is the ever present hummingbird telling me?  A hummingbird seeks out the nectar, the sweetness of life.  Is that what I am to do for myself?  A hummingbird is persistent and tireless.  Is the hummingbird reminding me to be patient?  Is the hummingbird there to remind me of my belief that he is worth it?  What about the nagging feeling I have that the stars may never line up for us?  Is the hummingbird there to tell me to listen to my intuition, a deep current of wisdom that resides within me, within all of us?  Is this nagging feeling coming from my intuition or from a place of fear and anxiety, from my emotional wounds?

I do not know the message the hummingbirds are trying, with such tenacity, to deliver to me, or if there is a grand, overarching message.  I need more time.  I need to be able to look back, just as a hummingbird does when it flies backwards.  Just this week I caught a glimmer of the message.  I spotted a hummingbird.  It rested on the branch of the tree I see it in day after day.  I stood still and listened and it started to sing.  I think it sang “remember the song in your heart.”  My framed Curly Girl quote, given to me by a dear friend for my 33rd birthday, just weeks after the “ka-boom,” flashed into my mind.  It reads:  “After all that – she was surprised to find that she still knew the words to the song in her heart. . . and she Began to sing along.”  If only I could hear my own song, my own voice, my voice from deep within, more clearly.

Today I saw a hummingbird zip across my backyard.  It landed on a bare, leafless part of a holly tree branch.  I opened my window to listen.  It did not sing, but it did flutter its wings – it flashed me with wings of infinity.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I first learned the significance of hummingbirds from Miriam, a kooky lady I met on my first holiday trip to Costa Rica.  I was sharing an evening with my fellow yogis.  She delivered the message of a locust to one of the guys in our group.  I had been seeing quite a few hummingbirds in Costa Rica and I was curious, so I asked her what it meant to see a hummingbird.  Her answer:  “blessings, many blessings; a hummingbird has wings of infinity.”  I asked her how she knew this stuff.  She said, “I’ve always known and you know too.”  We continued to talk and something I said really struck her.  She paused and looked me deep in the eye and said, “You are very wise.” 

I am grateful to Miriam and many other spiritual souls who inspired my discovery of “my inner mystic.”